wom·​an | \ ˈwu̇-mən How to pronounce woman (audio) , especially Southern ˈwō- How to pronounce woman (audio) or ˈwə- How to pronounce woman (audio) \
plural women\ ˈwi-​mən How to pronounce women (audio) \

Definition of woman

1a : an adult female person
b : a woman belonging to a particular category (as by birth, residence, membership, or occupation) usually used in combination councilwoman
2 : womankind
3 : distinctively feminine nature : womanliness
4 : a woman who is a servant or personal attendant
5a chiefly dialectal : wife
b : mistress
6 : a woman who is extremely fond of or devoted to something specified I'm a chocolate woman through and through, but one bite of West's banana pudding cupcake and I was sold.— Hattie Brown Garrow

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Other Words from woman

woman adjective
womanless \ ˈwu̇-​mən-​ləs How to pronounce womanless (audio) , especially Southern  ˈwō-​ or  ˈwə-​ \ adjective

Synonyms for woman


female, lady, skirt [slang]

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Examples of woman in a Sentence

She grew up to become a confident and beautiful woman. She is a grown woman. The store sells shoes for both men and women.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Alex Morgan scored a go-ahead goal on her birthday and Alyssa Naeher saved a late penalty kick to give the U.S. women’s national team a 2-1 victory over England during its World Cup semifinal Tuesday at Stade de Lyon. Alicia Delgallo, Pro Soccer USA, "USA to play for World Cup title after beating England 2-1 in semifinal," 4 July 2019 When the woman resisted, Edison threatened physical harm, according to an arrest warrant. David Owens, courant.com, "Las Vegas man sentenced to prison for human trafficking in Connecticut," 4 July 2019 The names of the 28-year-old man and the 26-year-old woman who were shot and killed have not been released by the department. Juliana Kim, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore police make 64 arrests in three-day operation targeting open warrants, violent offenders," 4 July 2019 The star forward on the U.S. women’s soccer team was asked to respond to her detractors, including President Trump. Rachel Bachman, WSJ, "U.S. Soccer Star Megan Rapinoe Responds to Critics, Saying She’s ‘Deeply American’," 3 July 2019 No one celebrates like the U.S. women’s soccer team. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "Alex Morgan's tea time: No one celebrates like the U.S. women's World Cup team," 3 July 2019 The group had reportedly also discussed throwing burritos at the congresswoman from the Bronx and Representative Veronica Escobar (D-TX), one of the first Latinx woman to represent Texas in Congress. Khushbu Shah, Teen Vogue, "AOC Called Out Border Patrol Over Detention Conditions and a Secret Facebook Group That Posted About Her," 3 July 2019 The ordeal that the 18-year-old Florida Panhandle woman endured, especially after giving birth, was anything but serene, according to the Pensacola News Journal. Stephen Ruiz, orlandosentinel.com, "Labor pain was only beginning for Florida woman after epidural catheter gets stuck: report," 3 July 2019 Rivera, who is in her 50s and the first Filipino-American woman to be ordained a rabbi, recalled attending Sukkot services at the congregation in 2016, before working there or becoming a regular. Josefin Dolsten, sun-sentinel.com, "Filipino-American dancer turned rabbi wants to change the conversation about Jews of color," 3 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'woman.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of woman

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for woman

Middle English, from Old English wīfman, from wīf woman, wife + man human being, man

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Statistics for woman

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for woman

The first known use of woman was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for woman



English Language Learners Definition of woman

: an adult female human being
: a woman who has a specified job or position
: all women thought of as a group


wom·​an | \ ˈwu̇-mən How to pronounce woman (audio) \
plural women\ ˈwi-​mən \

Kids Definition of woman

1 : an adult female person
2 : women considered as a group

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More from Merriam-Webster on woman

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for woman

Spanish Central: Translation of woman

Nglish: Translation of woman for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of woman for Arabic Speakers

Comments on woman

What made you want to look up woman? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


food or victuals

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